Whale tagging in Sermilik Fjord

Whale tagging in Sermilik Fjord

Aurora’s second last trip of East Greenland season has finished, and we’re again in Kulusuk waiting for the last group to join the boat. On Sunday we will start the journey towards north and eventually to Iceland. We are hoping for good weather for the forthcoming week and speedy crossing of Denmark Strait.

Last week we had onboard a mixed group of well-travelled guests and also a whale tagger – an industrial designer who builds tags for whale research projects that are currently in progress in East Greenland. He was onboard Aurora to see whether whales could be tagged from onboard a sail yacht during our trip around Angmagssalik island. Indeed it was possible: two humpback whales got small GPS trackers attached to their backs, which will for few weeks track their location, speed and depth. This data should help marine biologists to understand better the locations and movement of whale population in East Greenland coast.

Both whales were seen and tagged in Sermilik Fjord area, which seems to be the most reliable place for whale spotting apart from going further offshore.

Last week we also tried few new anchorages – the first in Angmagssalik Island, which I named “Blueberry Bay” for its’ abundant (in Greenlandic terms) blueberry shrubs. I managed to pick enough berries for a crumble, which Teresa baked and served with delicious home made custard. Another new anchorage was Ajangitap Kangertiva south of Johan Petersen Fjord. That area has a magnificent waterfall / rapids coming from a glacial lake, and the area has great potential for a good day-walk through valleys leading from one fjord to another. Maybe next year we can attempt a connecting walk from one anchorage to next.

We also saw fantastic northern lights in Johan Petersen Fjord – for some hours green, undulating curtains stretched across the whole sky. The nights are already dark and there is cold sharpness in the air. Like migrating birds, Aurora too will soon head back home.

About Riikka

Riikka Puustinen is a freelance sailor with digital media education and long international career in UX design and project management. Fond of sun, snow, sled dogs, icebergs, mountains and creative thinking. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in the UK.